Today, Stink Studios announces the hires of five new executives: Najla Barance, head of people, Greg Benedetto, executive producer; Keith Jamerson, head of production; Ely Kim, group creative director; Alexis de Seve, director of client services; and Serene Wong, creative director. These new hires come during an exciting and transformative time for the agency, with a 48% growth in revenue YoY and the opening of two new outposts. In the past year, Stink Studios has worked with a number of ambitious brands such as Nike, Pinterest, Mailchimp, The New York Times, Robinhood, Spotify and more.
As Stink Studios’ head of people, Najla Barance is relentless in creating a supportive and strong workplace culture that fosters psychological safety, inclusiveness and helps people evolve into the best versions of themselves. They lead with empathy and collaborate with teams to build strategies that put employees at the center of the organization, including programs for DEI, mental health & well-being and remote work. At Stink, Najla is responsible for everything from recruiting to onboarding to DE&I programming and much more. Previously, Najla was the global people operations director at Ueno.
“What excites me most about Stink Studios is that everyone at the company cares deeply for creating equitable, inclusive and diverse environments,” said Najla. “I am honored to continue on this journey with such talented and kind people.”
Toronto-based Greg Benedetto joins Stink as an executive producer. For more than 14 years, he has worked with creatives to execute their visions across a number of mediums, including gaming, artificial reality (AR), animation and music festivals. Greg will oversee complex digital design executions, managing and mentoring producers, developing new business opportunities and refining processes that allow us to be nimble and ship complex things quickly. He comes to Stink from Shopify.
“I’m very excited to be part of the next version of Stink,” said Greg. “Stink’s a company that's put its people first for years, while never wavering on its creative output. Looking forward to what our future brings!”
Driven by his passion for bringing great things to life, Keith Jamerson has signed on as Stink Studios’ US head of production. In his new role, Keith is responsible for uniting and leading a diverse team of producers with a vision that supports creative and operational excellence. He will work to ensure that each team member feels supported in their career, and has clear, measurable benchmarks to foster their continued growth and learning. Keith has worked at Leo Burnett, DDB and Arts & Letters Creative Co, where he led campaigns for some of the industry’s top brands including: ESPN and Google.
“I’m very excited to join the Stink Studios team and help shape our approach to creating impactful work. I’ve been a fan of the company since I entered the industry, and really connect with its culture, ambition and values,” said Keith. “The history of innovative executions across platforms, transparency and commitment to DEI, and willingness to embrace industry shifts all make it a very unique company that I’m proud to be a part of.”
Ely Kim comes to Stink as the agency’s group creative director. Ely channels his Las Vegas roots’ pizzazz as he strives to keep the inspiration of the creative team revving as a teacher and mentor. Ely has a diverse work background, previously working as the design director at M·A·C Cosmetics and at agencies Mother New York, Anomaly, TBWA / Media Arts Lab with clients including: Calvin Klein and Netflix.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be the group creative director at Stink,” said Ely. “The people are what brought me to Stink and I’m looking forward to continuing its storied history of excellence.”
Alexis de Seve joins Stink as the agency's first director of client services. In her role, de Seve will focus on deepening client relationships, building organic growth and further integrating Stink’s internal disciplines across its client base. de Seve comes to Stink from FIG and is eager to bring her core principles and experience to shape a new client services model at Stink.
“I’m thrilled to join the Stink team at this exciting time as their first director of client services, and I truly admire the people and caliber of work that comes out of this agency,” she said. “I’m looking forward to bringing a new perspective to the table and establishing how this department can help us continue to grow and thrive.”
This spring, award-winning, Toronto-based creative, Serene Wong joined Stink as creative director. Serene merges design, storytelling and technology to make experiences that resonate. She works closely with the user experience (UX) team to create empathy-driven work. Previously, Serene was with Jam3 as an associate creative director.
“Stink’s passion for craft is so inspiring, and it shows through all aspects of their work,” said Serene. “I’m honored to share my experiences and collaborate with this talented team.”
“Whether it's our new office spaces, our revamped brand identity, or the continuous growth that we're seeing courtesy of our client partners, we're at an important and exciting inflection point in our trajectory,” said Mark Pytlik, CEO at Stink Studios. “I feel grateful and proud to be sharing that with the likes of Najla, Keith, Ely, Alexis, Serene and Greg. Not only are they all exceptional at what they do, but they're excellent humans as well. I get energy from this group. It's a genuine pleasure to work alongside them, and I couldn't imagine a better team to help build this next new chapter of Stink.”